"WALKING IN THE LIGHT"
(A Series on Jesus)
C.R.3/29/87p.m. John 8:12-20
PROPOSITION: The follower of Jesus, who is walking in
the light of God, will walk in the witness of Christ, will walk in the judgments of Christ and will walk in the knowledge of God.
- HAS anyone here ever been in a situation where you would have given anything you owned for some light?
- AS a child, our family took a vacation to an area of the Cape province, where there were some famous underground caverns called the Cango Caves.
- WE visited them on this particular vacation.
- THE tour was spectacular.
- IT was over an hour long as we wound our way through rook after room, looking at various rock formations, and trying to see the shapes that the guides said were there.
- WE wound deeper and deeper into the caves, climbing up some inclines, walking over some rickety bridges that spanned large pools.
- IN some of the caverns they would stop and turn on special colored lights that highlighted certain stalegtite and stalegnite formations....that was beautiful.
- THEN in one spot, far from the entrance and daylight, they turned off all the lights....it was the darkest dark that I can ever remember experiencing.....you could see nothing.
- FINALLY the tour was over and they gave a choice about our trip back to the entrance.
* We could follow the assistant back to the entrance....taking about 30 minutes over the bridges and climbs.
* Or we could follow the guide through a narrow tunnel and a natural rock chimney....climbing to the surface near the entrance...about 10 minutes.
* This section of the caves was called the "Devil's Chimney"....I found out later why. I was about 12 years old at the time.
- MY parents opted to go back with the assistant, my brother and I decided we'd follow the guide.
- THE main group left and we forged on.....that was the day I discovered I had claustrophobia.
- THE tunnel,we had to crawl through was about 75 feet long.....and it wasn't too bad because you could see a hint of light ahead of you.
- BUT you had to get down on hands and knees and crawl through this rock tunnel that was just big enough to fit into.
- I WAS in the middle of the 10-15 who had decided to take the Devil's Chimney.
- I DID OK until the 6 or 7 people crawling ahead of me blocked out all light at the end of the tunnel....and then I panicked.
- ALL around me was rock......above my head....touching each shoulder.....above my back...under my knees and hands.....and then it was so black that I couln't see.
- I THOUGHT I was going to go insane....I would have given anything for some light.
- I COULD have handled the tight quarters if there had been some light......it was one of the worst experiences of my life.
- THERE is a spiritual darkness that is darker than the Cango caves.....People without Jesus experience it here in this life......In the life to come it is going to be intolerable.
- JESUS said in John 8:12;
"I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
- HE was standing in the Court of the Treasurery when He said this.
- IT was an interesting court.
- IT was between the outer court of the Gentiles.....and the holy place of the temple.
- HE was standing in the court teaching the multitude that gathered there to hear Him.
- RIGHT in the center of the court was a huge, seven- lamp candleabra.....over 70 feet high.
- THE only time that the candleabra was lighted was during the evenings of the Feast of Tabernacles.
- THEY were lighted at dusk and would signal the beginning of celebration....of God's provision past, present and future.
- WHEN they were lighted the light was so bright that it would cast light all over Jerusalem.
- ALL night long there would be the music of trumpets and flutes and tamborines....and the priests and worshippers would dance and sing to the Lord in the court where Jesus was sitting to teach the people.
- VERY likely just such a celebration had taken place there the night before;
"The Lord is good....His mercy endures forever and ever."
- AND in this setting, Jesus stands and announces, "I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
- WHOEVER follows me. The Greek word for follower is "akolouthein". It has several meanings;
* It is used of a soldier who follows his captain....on those long overland marches into strange lands to wage war and bring home the victory.....wherever his commander may lead.
* It is used of a slave accompanying his master....ready to spring into his master's service. His joy is serving his master.
* It is used of accepting the wise counsel of a trusted judge.
* It is used of giving obedience to the laws of the state.
* It is used of following a teacher...taking the message to heart and doing it.
- JESUS says that whoever follows Him, will never walk in darkness.
- THAT was a bold statement.
- IT was the kind of statement that the Jews knew could only be made by God Himself.
- THAT was the reason they opposed Him so fiercely.
- THEY challenged Him that He could not claim to be the light of the world, because He was the only one testifying to that fact.
- IN His answer to their challenge, we find three interesting thoughts about walking in the light that we can take to heart tonight......and apply to our own following of Jesus.
- THERE are three strands of argument about walking in the light that I would like to drop into your spirit tonight.
II.THE WITNESS OF LIGHT
- THE first response that Jesus has to their challenge was that Jesus testimony about Himself was sufficient because He knew where He came from and where he was going.
- BUT the Jews required by law.....2 or 3 witnesses to life and death testimony, so Jesus answered them.
- IN verse 16 He said, "....I am not alone. I stand with the Father who sent Me."
- IN verse 18 He said, ".....My other witness is the one who sent Me...the Father."
- HOW did the Father witness to Jesus as the light of the world?
THE WITNESS OF THE FATHER WERE THE WORDS OF JESUS.
* No man could speak with such wisdom and authority as Jesus, unless the Father was speaking through Him.
* When the temple guards were sent to arrest Him and came back without Him...they said, "No man ever spoke like this man"
THE WITNESS OF THE FATHER WAS THE DEEDS OF JESUS
* No man could do the things that Jesus did without the power and authority of the Father being in Him.
* He turned water into wine. He said, "Lazarus, come forth!"....and a man, dead four days, walked out of the tomb. He healed the lame and the deaf and the dying. He walked on the storming sea.
* This was no ordinary man....and the Father bore witness of Him through His mighty deeds.
THE WITNESS OF THE FATHER WAS THE EFFECT THAT JESUS HAD ON MEN
* No human power can make a bad man good, or turn a prostitute into a lady, or a crooked tax collector into a benevolent man.
* Only the power of the Father can change men's lives.....and Jesus did that all the time.
* He did for men what they could not do for themselves. This was proof...He was God's Son.
THE WITNESS OF THE FATHER WAS THE REACTION OF MEN TO JESUS.
* Wherever and whenever Jesus has been lifted up....or the cross preached since His death and resurrection....there has been an overwhelming reponse in the hearts of men.
* What awakened that response? The Holy Spirit bearing witness that HE is the light of the world.
- THESE truths about the witness of the Father to the Light of the world, are to be found in the lives of those who follow the Light.
- THEY are a by-product of walking in the Light ourselves....and the Father will witness concerning His Son through us.
* Jesus' words spoken through us with authority and power.
* Jesus' deeds done through us with authority and power.
* Life-changing effect on the lives of those around us because of the Father's witness to His Son through us.
* Response to the Light, as the Spirit draws men to God through our influence.
- GOD is still testifying to His Son through those who walk in the Light.
III.THE JUDGMENT OF LIGHT
- THE next thing that Jesus appeals to to defend His claim to being the Light of the world....is His judgment.
- HE said in verse 16;
"But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me."
- JESUS said that he did not come into the world to judge the world, but rather because of His love for the world....so that through Him the world might be saved.
- BUT even though He came to love us, man's response to Him is, in itself, very often judgment.
- BY their reaction to Him they are judged.
- BUT His judgment is not based on superficial knowledge.....like man's judgment.
- HIS judgment is based on true knowledge.
- THERE is comfort and warning in this statement of Jesus'.
- WARNING to those who think that they can escape the knowledge and eyes of God....and live to themselves.
- THERE is comfort to those who put their trust in Him. He knows all things. We don't have to defend ourselves, He is our defense and knows all things.
- WALKING in the light means living with the roof off our lives...nothing concealed....nothing hidden and unconfessed.
- WE might as well keep short accounts with Him, He knows all things anyhow.
- HE knows everything we are and need.
- FINAL judgment will be His....based on perfect knowledge. No administrative goofs. If you are under His blood, walking in the light.......you will stand approved in that Great day of the Lord.
IV.THE KNOWLEDGE OF LIGHT
- LASTLY, Jesus defended His claim to be the Light of the world, by saying that if they had known the Father, they would have known Him.
- THOSE who walk in Light, know the Father, personally, intimately.
- AND those who know the Father, also know His Son, Jesus.
- IF anyone should have known Jesus it should have been the Jews.
- THEIR whole history pointed to the coming Messiah...in great detail.
- THEY should have known Him. Simeon did.
- WHAT was different about Simeon? He was looking for the redemption of Israel.
- THE Pharisees were too busy playing at religion and their political aspirations to even know the Father...so they missed His Son....even crucified Him.
- THOSE who walk in the light are looking for the Father....and know the Son when they find Him in the Word and in the place of prayer...and in their everyday lives.
- THIS is walking in the Light.
* It is witnessing the words of Jesus.
* It is knowing and doing the deeds of Jesus.
* It is having an affect on others for Him.
* It is getting a reaction to Him through your life.
* It is walking in the judgment of His knowledge.
* It is walking in the knowledge of the Father and His Son.
- ARE you walking in the Light.